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Postdoc L(a)unch – October 6

Friday, October 6, 2023
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Caltech Hall 9th Floor
  • Public Event

Dr. Peter Boorman, PMA

Searching for Growing Supermassive Black Holes in the Hearts of Galaxies

Lunch will be provided starting 11:45 AM!


Searching for Growing Supermassive Black Holes in the Hearts of Galaxies

All large galaxies have supermassive black holes lurking at their centers. Most of the interstellar gas and dust that spirals in to feed these monsters is accreted behind thick clouds of gas & dust that obscure and conceal many of their electromagnetic signatures of accretion. Nonetheless, the abundance of heavily obscured accreting supermassive black holes provides important insights into the region between interstellar space and the accretion disc, as well as the co-evolution between supermassive black holes and galaxies since the dawn of the Universe. In this talk, I will overview the strategies currently in use to find large samples of accreting supermassive black holes in the nearby galactic neighbourhood. I will then introduce NASA's NuSTAR X-ray space telescope as a powerhouse for studying buried accretion onto supermassive black holes, highlighting the requirement for synergies across the electromagnetic spectrum when inferring an unbiased picture of black hole activity. I will conclude with the exciting prospects of next-generation astrophysical observatories capable of completing the census of supermassive black hole growth out to cosmological distances in which the Universe was a fraction of its current age.

For more information, please contact Postdocs Launch organizers by email at [email protected].